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Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Rawland F. Taplett Obituary
Rawland Floyd Taplett, was born in Tyndall, SD June 28, 1921, to Frank S. Taplett and Dorothy Schultz Taplett. He passed away July 29, 2008, with congestive heart failure. He and his twin brother were the youngest of ten children. He moved with his family to Wenatchee in 1930, when the twins were in fourth grade. At nine years old, they sold apples from a wagon to the neighborhood and hawked Wenatchee Daily World newspapers on the street corners. As a teenager, Rawland delivered telegrams for Postal Telegraph. In 1942, he married Mary Louise Vaughn. Prior to serving in the Army in WWII, he worked for Safeway. He spent two years in the Philippines during the War and was discharged in 1946. When he returned from the War, he bought his first apple orchard. Working seven days a week, from sun-up to sun-down, he was always known for his strong work ethic and endless energy. He soon began to pack and sell his own fruit from his garage on Fifth Street. For fun, he played checkers in Memorial Park and went on to win the Washington State Checker Championship in 1949 and 1952. (This week he took time to play a game of checkers with his grandson.) He was one of the few, cash fruit buyers in the Valley. In 1972, Rawley was the first shipper to open the apple markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan to "Washington Apples". Twenty-seven years after beginning his fruit business on "nine acres," he had grown to be one of the largest independent fruit growers in the State. He owned and operated orchards between Royal City and Oroville, WA. He packed his own, as well as other's fruit, in his modern packing warehouse, cold storage and CA storage on the Chelan Highway. Rawley was a born entrepreneur. Following his success in the apple business, he entered into many business ventures. He developed several subdivisions throughout the Wenatchee area, also one in Kent, WA and another in Covington, in King County. He became interested in developing safe storage and disposal of toxic nuclear waste. He founded Chem Nuclear Inc. and became President and Chairman of the Board. He founded AirSensors, Inc. and has been Chairman of the Board, later named Imco. This company developed equipment for utilizing alternate fuel systems for the automotive industry. This company is known today as Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. He also founded Accor Technologies, Inc. and has served as Chairman of the Board of this company. Accor Technology, Inc. has developed a push-on plumbing valve for use in the construction industry. It is being manufactured locally at the Port District near Pangborn Airport. Rawley was always open to new ideas and had a positive outlook on life and its opportunities. He had the original pioneer spirit, eager to demonstrate how a country boy, with lots of determination, hard work and energy, and only a high school education, could fulfill the American Dream. He loved his family so very much. He was always there for each of them. He quietly provided for special needs as he became aware of them, but encouraged us to become self productive people. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary; his three daughters, Norene Gibbs (recently deceased husband, Don) of East Wenatchee, Mandy Jo and husband, John Savoia of Mesa, AZ and Debbie and husband, David Jongeward of Vancouver, WA; son, Dean Taplett and wife, Roxanne of Ocean Shores, WA. He had 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. He will be missed by all of us, more than words can express. The Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 4, 2008, at Telford's Chapel of the Valley, officiated by Rev. Hilton Jarvis and Dean Taplett. Interment will be at the Wenatchee Cemetery.